- May 27, 2000
Dot Com Toy Sellers Dominate
Traditional Toy Sellers
Offline toy powerhouses like
Toys 'R' Us still have a tough time competing online against
Amazon.com, SmarterKids.com, and eToys battled for the
top spot, while brick-and-mortar giants KB Toys, Toys 'R'
Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penney finished at the bottom of the
Toys & Games
category of the latest PowerRankings™ announced today by
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Forrester PowerRankings
combine survey data from online consumers and unbiased
shopping tests to provide objective rankings of the leading
"Even the recently defunct
toysmart.com would have beaten out brick-and-mortar powerhouses
like KB Toys, Toys 'R' Us, Wal-Mart, and J.C. Penney," said
Tom Rhinelander, senior analyst at Forrester. "After
years of trying to establish a successful Web presence,
these offline giants haven't found a way to provide a better
online shopping experience than the Dot Coms -- even the
ones running out of money."
Amazon.com was ranked No. 1
with popular features, including a wealth of customer reviews
and personalized product recommendations, as well as excellent
customer service. SmarterKids.com came in second overall.
It has the easiest-to-use site, and shoppers also appreciate
its features like in-depth information on the suitability
of a given toy for a child. Right behind SmarterKids.com,
eToys offers useful features like real-time inventory information
and provides responsive and efficient customer service.
"Although Amazon.com retains
its PowerRankings title as the best online seller of toys
and games, SmarterKids.com and eToys finished so close
that either could dethrone the online leader with only
a few simple changes," said Rhinelander. "For
example, to attract and please more consumers, SmarterKids.com
could lower shipping costs and keep its call center open
24 hours, while eToys could add more product reviews."
Coming in at a distant fourth
place, buy.com offers excellent prices but suffers from
poor transacting and features, including no real-time inventory
data, gift wrapping, or address book.
KBkids.com beat out its brick-and-mortar
brethren by providing quick email responses, but it came
in fifth -- behind all Dot Com competitors -- due to problems
like poor order-tracking capabilities. Toys 'R' Us earned
the sixth place slot by offering solid customer service,
but it lacks basic features like customer reviews and a
wish list, and it provided poor product packaging and unreliable
shipping. Ranked No. 7, Wal-Mart's site is difficult to
navigate and doesn't offer many popular items. With a labor-intensive
checkout process, confusing navigation, and unreliable
shipping, J.C. Penney finished last.
"To improve its site's
shopping experience, a brick-and-mortar toy seller like
Toys 'R' Us could scoop up former toysmart.com developers
and executives," said Rhinelander. "These experienced
employees could help a laggard site improve navigation
and integrate popular features."
For its updated PowerRankings,
Forrester surveyed 19,000 consumers from Greenfield Online's
400,000-person online panel to identify the most popular
eCommerce sites. A team of Forrester shoppers then evaluated
the shopping experience for these sites by performing a
series of rigorous tests in six areas. The consumer data
and Forrester shopper scores were then synthesized and
weighted, with consumer views accounting for two-thirds
of the overall PowerRankings.
to May 2000 News Archive